Scouting 2012 Players Poll – Denver Broncos looking for ILBs


This list that follows is meant to be my personal amateur analysis on ILBs available in the 2012 Draft with information about the professional general draft projection and my (again, amateur) analysis about who fits Denver needs and in which round should be draft by the Denver Broncos.

Player

College

Year

Height

Weight

Note

League Projection

My Grade (Broncos point of view)

Luke Kuechly

Boston College

Jr

6-3

242

He is tremendous. A heck of a player. Is not really explosive but he always diagnose they play well and is able to make the play. Is the kind of effort guy with a ton of talent and character that a Coach wants to lead the defense for a decade or more. Even without purer speed and not excellent athleticism he would be a great fit for Denver 4-3 defense. He can cover and, as I already said, he’s a side to side die hard leader. He will be gone too soon for a Denver trade up for grabbing him.

1st

1st – Trade Up

Dont’a Hightower

Alabama

rJr

6-2

265

As a ILB he is a perfect fit for the 3-4 defense. He succeed in Alabama 3-4 that looks aggressive as the Ravens one. He could be there at 25 but I don’t know how high he is on Denver board. I’m saying this because fron his videos he doe not look like a side to side LB and he gets lost at time in coverage. Does a far better job at the LOS shutting down the run and pressuring the QB. But it’s also possible to see leadership and toughness in his style of play. I think that 3-4 teams should really think about him in the 1st round, but I can’t see Denver envisioning him as a far upgrade to Mays. This is the reason I’m downgrading him to a 2nd round to Denver.

1st – 2nd

2nd

Mychal Kendricks

California

Sr

5-11

240

Aggressive and explosive linebacker. Sometimes is also overly aggressive and runs out of the play. Anyhow, I guess that when in Highlight pre- draft videos there is not a single play when the player drop in coverage for more the 5 yards from the LOS, it means that there’s nothing to write back home about…isn’t it? He’s a good football player, but again as for Hightower, I don’t see him being plain and simple a better option than Mays.

3rd

4th

James-Michael Johnson

Nevada

rSr

6-1

241

Good player, has to bulk up to play in the NFL but shows awareness, good acceleration good speed, side to side tackle ability. It would be a great 4th round pick.

3rd – 4th

4th

Audie Cole

North Carolina State

rSr

6-4

246

Has to bulk up a little bit for playing in the NFL but is overall a really good prospect that could play in both 3-4 and 4-3 defenses. I would expect him going off the board in the 3rd round or high 4th round. In the latter Denver could be really in the game for him because he is tall and could really play MLB and some SOLB. He has instinct, is not overly athletic but has really good speed and also good tackling technique.

5th

4th

Chris Galippo

Southern California

rSr

6-1

241

I quite like him, seriously. He could drop in coverage and had several interceptions in his college career. He Hit like old style linebackers and has good angles on tackles. He does not have elite athleticism or speed, but he could easily play MLB or WILB on a 4-3 defense and ILB on a 3-4 defense. I guess that special teams would be well accepted by him at the beginning of his career. I think that in the 6th round, if he’s still there Denver could really think to select him.

5th – 6th

5th

Vontaze Burfict

Arizona State

Jr

6-1

248

I think that at the beginning of the process he was overestimated and now is the opposite situation. He can play and it’s true that makes stupid mistakes but what is worrying me more is that he could make a great play and the next one he is off. He always has been a mid round pick, with a lots of potential and a lots of question mark. He could play both at MLB or WOLB in the 4-3 defense and he is a natural fit for the 3-4 defenses at ILB. He is aggressive and fast changing direction but sometimes he misinterpretates the play and has to do a better job shedding blocks. He’s all for making the big play or, when he understands he can’t is quite off. With his poor showing at the combine and Pro-day, he could probably slip in the 6th or even 7th round but he wasn’t a 1st round pick by any means, more a 4th rounder that could have been over drafted in the 2nd round by a desperate team, if he would have had a great draft process.

5th – 6th

6th – 7th

Najee Goode

West Virginia

rSr

6-0

244

Not many videos on him. All Big East 1st Team is a good accomplishment, He looks fast in the 40 yard dash and Denver interviewed him at the Senior Bowl. The Broncos could be interested in playing him WILB and MLB in the 4-3. A 6th or 7th round pick addition.

6th – 7th

6th – 7th

Shawn Loiseau

Merrimack

Sr

6-0

244

He dominated at his college level. Now the transition into being a MLB in the NFL is never easy and he would probably need time (1 or 2 years?). Denver has already a couple of projects under its belt at linebacker but this guy has upside, is fast and knows how to play the nasty linebacker.

7th

FA
Caleb McSurdy

Montana

Sr

6-1

245

He’s a tweener a la Spencer Larsen. I see the broncos making a move for him as CFA but only for the MLB positions since Denver is not projected to play with a fullback under Peyton Manning.

7th – FA

CFA

Adrien Cole

Louisiana Tech

Sr

5-11

250

Spent a lots of snap in coverage, not so much in run support on videos. Better suited for 3-4 defenses, could actually be drafted by a team like New England around the 6th round. He wasn’t invite to the combine.

7th – FA

FA

Max Gruder

Pittsburgh

rSr

6-1

235

I think he is more suited for the 3-4 ILB role in the NFL. Has to bilk up and learn the scheme but he is an overachiever ALL Academicals team that would do just fine at the next level in the right situation and scheme. At worst he’ll be a good special team player.

6th

No

Marcus Dowtin

North Alabama

Sr

6-2

226

He has character concerns. Played formerly in Georgia. I don’t think Denver would pursue him.

FA

No

Jerry Franklin

Arkansas

rSr

6-1

242

He’s an athletic and aggressive player that does not elite instinct for the play and has to do a much better job to shed blocks. He has some capability to drop in coverage but then is missing top speed to get back and make the play on the ball carrier. I think that he’s better suited to play in a 3-4 defense and would need 1 or 2 years of learning.

4th – 5th

No

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